We often talk about spring cleaning, but the 'back to school' period is also the ideal time to put your life in order, as well as your wardrobe, and start off on the right foot. Since 2021 is a year for new commitments, why not take the opportunity to make our wardrobes more responsible? Here's a look at two materials with low environmental impact and multiple properties: linen and hemp.
The fashion industry has been increasing new initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint. As we have seen, this involves secondhand, local, and more responsible production as well as recycling, but there is also the choice of raw materials. Many brands are progressively moving away from fibers that require hundreds, even thousands, of liters of water for their production, as well as the use of pesticides and chemicals, in favor of natural fibers that are less harmful to the planet. Linen and hemp are among them, so you won't be surprised to see more and more fashion pieces made from these two materials.
Hemp, a durable and resistant material
If hemp was until now used by only a handful of specialized brands and more rarely by mass-market retailers, it's now being found in the collections of countless ready-to-wear labels and even on the catwalks of some luxury houses. This is due to its environmental qualities, which are now major criteria for consumer purchasing. It must be said that hemp, known and used for centuries, has properties that cannot leave lovers of the planet indifferent.
Not content with resisting drought (therefore needing very little water), hemp also doesn't require pesticides. The plant grows very quickly, and hemp fibers are both very resistant and biodegradable, which allows for clothing that can last for years without polluting the planet. What more could you ask for? Shirts, pants, jackets, and even sweatshirts and T-shirts: hemp can be found in every form of clothing. And if it is most often found in the stores of ethical fashion labels, hemp is gradually working its way into the eco-responsible ranges of many brands and ready-to-wear stores.
Linen on the comeback
But the star material of this fall will undoubtedly be linen, which is making a comeback on the fashion planet, again thanks to its environmental qualities... but not only. Like hemp, linen is a very durable material - just look into our grandparents' linen closets to see that - but it is also very comfortable, and above all beneficial for the most sensitive skin because it is hypoallergenic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. And as if that wasn't enough, linen is also a thermoregulating material. This means that it keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter. Indeed, linen is not solely reserved for the summer season.
Another factor allowing linen to restore its reputation today is none other than its eco-responsible virtues. The fiber is mainly cultivated in Europe, particularly in France, and, like its cousin hemp, its cultivation requires very little water, fertilizer, or pesticides. If you are still not convinced, you should know that flax produces little waste and that it is also biodegradable. So many reasons to give it a place of choice in your dressing room this fall.